2016 US Climate Leadership Summit, Washington, DC USA

Climate change is a health issue. I’ve known that part for a long time.

In 2016, the economics of fixing this problem have changed so much that producing health and mitigating climate change are actually more economical than not. I learned that yesterday.

2016.09.14 American Climate Leadership Summit, Washington DC, USA 07909
2016.09.14 American Climate Leadership Summit, Washington DC, USA 07909 (View on Flickr.com)

I love people who put all of their knowledge concisely on one slide. Thanks, Joseph Romm.

I am also deeply intrigued by people who learn, grow, and change, and so I was fascinated by Jerry Taylor (@Jerry_Taylor). I kind of thought he could host an all day session on his journey.

Before founding the Niskanen Center in 2015, Taylor was a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, where he previously espoused a skeptical position on environmental issues. Taylor’s case is notable as an example of a former climate-change skeptic who came to embrace policies to address climate change after researching the scientific consensus behind man-made global warming. Source: Wikipedia

There was actually a lot of talk about this, in multiple contexts, about people, policy makers, leaders, who have accepted the science, some publicly some privately. It’s a journey.

Kaiser Permanente was present, in the form of Kathy Gerwig (@KathyGerwig) who spoke about the lever of the Community Health Needs Assessment requirement in the Affordable Care Act, and the platform made available by partners, CHNA.org, which includes metrics relevant to climate and a healthy community.

Oh, and we’re planning to be carbon net-positive by 2025.

The rest of my photos are below. Because I am who I am, I do get to gently point out (as Joseph Romm did in his talk at the front of the room), that:

  • A high indoor CO2 level is bad for cognition
  • Sitting meetings are generally unhealthy (and they are kind of 20th Century)
  • All of this can be solved by arranging walking meetings

Thanks EcoAmerica for the educational experience and connection to so many other dedicated professionals and citizens. And of course we’re here to help you plan the next non-sitting event 🙂 .

Ted Eytan, MD